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Old 11-03-2016, 09:11 PM  
duncan_idaho duncan_idaho is offline
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*** Official 2017 Royals Offseason Repository ***

The reign is over. Time to begin the quest for the next one.

Interesting offseason opens for the Royals. Will they go all in for one last shot with this crew? Will they re-tool for 2018 and beyond? Will Dayton Moore actually decrease payroll this time?

Trades, free agent signings, rumors, plans, proposals... dump 'em all here, for this is... the offseason repository!

Royals Top Prospects, 2017

This is a list that’s going to seem a little bleak initially, as Raul Mondesi got enough ABs to age out of the prospect rankings (just barely – at 135 ABs, he is not rookie eligible). But that said, I like the talent and feel like this is a system that will actually be underrated by the prospect services.

Format: POS/Name/2017 Projected Final Level

1) 3B/OF Hunter Dozier, MLB. Dozier bounced back from a disastrous 2015 campaign that had many wondering, myself included, if he was wrecked. His strong offensive performance in 2016 saw Dozier recapture the mature approach that many liked coming up, while also starting to tap into his above-average raw power for the first time.

In addition to his success at the plate, Dozier also proved he could at least HANDLE an OF spot, which could put him in the conversation for 2017 playing time at the major leagues. If the Royals DO end up trading Cheslor Cuthbert, Dozier could find a decent amount of MLB playing time sliding between RF and 3B. With Moustakas recovering from knee surgery, he likely will need more regular breaks from the field. And the streaky Paulo Orlando is just not an intriguing short-side platoon partner for Jarrod Dyson.

2) LHP Matt Strahm, MLB. Strahm just barely skates under the rookie eligibility rules for a pitcher, so he can be included here. Royals fans already got a taste of the lefty’s abilities, as he used his above-average fastball and slurve to dominate out of the pen in 2016. For him to translate that dominance to the rotation, Strahm will need to maintain his velocity (92-94) and continue to improve a changeup that flashed average at times.

If the changeup becomes a weapon he can lean on against righties, Strahm could be a very solid mid-rotation starter and fringe ToR/No. 2 type (think Danny Duffy-lite).

3) RHP Josh Staumont, AAA. This one could blow up on me and look really silly by this time next year, but I’m encouraged by what we saw from Staumont late last year. He showed significantly improved control down the stretch for Northwest Arkansas, including some impressive playoff starts, while maintaining the big-time K ability. That trend continued in the Arizona Fall League.

If Staumont’s control holds, the Royals have a guy with a plus fastball, plus-plus curve, and average change (with a slider that could develop into a real weapon as he matures). He’ll start next season at AAA and could be an addition to the MLB bullpen or even the rotation before the season ends.

4) RF Jorge Bonifacio, AAA. Boni, like Dozier, had a bounceback season in 2016 with the bat, and also played 15-20 pounds lighter than the year before, which added some nice defensive utility according to reports I’ve gotten. He now looks like a guy could provide solid/average RF production in the major leagues… Average defense paired with potential to put up a .275/.335/.450 line. While that’s not all-star level, it IS playable. Especially at pre-arbitration dollars. He’ll get another year in Omaha to refine his approach, and likely be in the mix of a 2018 mini-youth movement… unless moved for MLB reinforcements.

5) C Meibrys Viloria, Low-A (Lexington). I haven’t seen him in person, but I like the pedigree. You’ve got a lefthanded hitting catcher with the defensive ability to stick behind the plate. He was a big-bonus guy out of Colombia (nearly $500k). And his offensive performance has been highly impressive early, with a good combination of power, plate discipline, and contact skills.

He’s forever away from the majors, just now clearing rookie ball, but Viloria is the most exciting prospect KC has had at Idaho Falls since someone on this board was gushing about a 16-year-old SS tearing it up.

6) 1B Ryan O’Hearn, AAA. O’Hearn is a guy who has never gotten a lot of hype from scouts, but he continues to be a strong producer. He’s someone who likely will strikeout about 25 percent of the time at the big-league level, but has the ability to be a .500+ SLG guy. That plays. He also has shown good patience at the plate, posting above-average OBPs at every level.

Bold prediction: I won’t be shocked if O’Hearn takes over at 1B for KC in 2018/2019 and provides similar offensive production to Hosmer out of the gate. He’s probably never going to be a consistent plus average (.290+) hitter, but .270 with 25 HR is something within reach for him. He’ll get his first shot at AAA in 2017.

7) RHP AJ Puckett, A+. Puckett is a high floor, low-ceiling guy who performed about as you’d expect in 2016 after being the Royals’ first pick in the 2016 Rule IV Draft. He’s not flashy, but Puckett does profile as a solid potential back-end starter. Good fastball command and an above-average changeup are his calling cards. If Puckett finds a reliable breaking ball to put batters away, this could tick up. Great athlete, very similar to Jake Odorizzi in that regard.

8) RF Khalil Lee, Low-A (Lexington). Lee was a two-way player in HS and many viewed him as a pitcher first as a pro, but the Royals drafted him as an OF and were reward with a strong debut campaign. Lee is not a big guy, but he produced solid power numbers despite that. He’s a dynamic athlete who could contribute with power and speed.

9) C Chase Vallot, High-A (Wilmington). Vallot has an intriguing bat, with plus raw power. Got off to a great start in 16 before being sidelined and then sidetracked by injury. RH bat may be good enough to push him out from behind the plate, where he has good tools but a long way to go.

10) RHP Jake Junis and RHP Alec Mills (AAA). I'm copping out here and including both at No. 10 because they're so similar. Like Puckett, they each project as a serviceable back of rotation starter. Similar stuff and profiles, though Junis has shown a little better strikeout ability and may have a smidge more upside as a result.

Others of note:

SS/CF Marten Gasparini. Production has been bad for this toolsy player, but Gasparini has speed and pop that jump out at you. At only 19, need to be patient with him... this European signee was even less polished when signing at 16 than the typical Latin America prospect.

OF Seuly Matias. Loud, loud tools. Matias profiles as a classic RF... big-time power potential. He's a long ways from the majors but is one of the Royals' biggest bonus babies from LA.

RHP Ashe Russell. 2014 1st rounder saw his velocity disappear last year and was quickly shut down. He's intriguing one way or the other, even if he ends up as another notch in the belt of the TINSTAAPP saying.

2B Corey Toups. O'Hearn's HS teammate has been an above-average producer for an up-the-middle player. His small stature hides a surprising amount of pop. Could turn into a Mark Grudzielanek type of offensive second baseman at his peak - solid average, lots of 2Bs.

RHP Scott Blewett, LHP Foster Griffin, RHP Nolan Watson - all three have underwhelmed as pros but were drafted in the supplemental round. Stuff and projectability for each is a positive. Wouldn't be surprised to see one of them take a Cody Reed-like step forward this season and crack the 50-75 range on prospect lists. They all have the natural ability.

SS/2B Ricky Aracena - Jose Altuve-sized Aracena is a switch hitting middle infielder who can flat out run. Switch hitter with a good approach.

RHP Pedro Fernandez - I'm still a believer in his stuff, even if he is destined for the pen. Was having a nice 2016 start until injuries derailed him right after his promotion to AA.

Sirs not Appearing in this Prospect List:

RHP Kyle Zimmer. Same story, different year. The Royals are hopeful they FINALLY found the cause of Zimmer's achy shoulder. If they really did, and he can stay healthy, the talent/potential is exciting.

OF Bubba Starling. Never trust a guy named Derek.

Last edited by duncan_idaho; 11-03-2016 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:02 PM   #751
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Could he be Hos's replacement next year?
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:02 PM   #752
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfcan View Post
They could have kept Wade and plugged Bubba in there- He could hit 12 homers and .238. I guess this means they have given up on Bubba the Great?



You need a DH that is going to put the ball in play and drive in runs. He is still young though so lets hope he turns into more of a rounded hitter.



.315 with 40 homers would work.

Considering Bubba Starling hit .183 with 7 HR at AA and AAA last year, no, no he couldn't.

Your hang up on batting average is silly. It's also worth noting Soler is a .260 career hitter through 700 MLB at bats. So focusing in on his 2016 BA, in a small sample with injuries also affecting him, is even sillier.

If he continues to OBP 70 points higher than his batting average, (and he did make progress here in 2016, OBPing nearly 100 points higher), he can hit .240-.250 and still be a plus offensive player.

If he can hit .260 while maintaining his OBP gains, that's a .350 or better OBP, and that's above-average.

BA is not to be ignored, but it shouldn't be focused on at the expense of OBP and SLG...


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Old 12-07-2016, 02:02 PM   #753
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But batting 238 suggests limits on the amount of homers and RBI he can generate.
Not really.

Striking out 25% of the time does, but BA and power are inversely related more often than not.

His fly ball rate actually went up a tick last year and his GB rate went down; that's a good sign for his power potential. And as BABIP is higher on GBs than FBs, more GBs generally means a higher BA but fewer HRs. They really aren't related apart from basic contact rates.

His xBABIP last year was .303 and his actual BABIP was .276. So he got hosed out of a handful of base hits by just raw dumb luck. If you correct for bad luck, his BA last year should've been .256. With the commensurate improvement in OBP and with the same ISO, regular batted ball luck means he's an .805 OPS guy last season in spot duty.

Again - I think folks are really underestimating his potential. If he's never any different than he is now, that's still a dangerous offensive weapon. And with just a tiny bit more contact, ideally in the form of line drives (as his LD rate was a little down), he could definitely be a legitimately strong middle of the order bat.

You want to talk about the increase in price for closers? How easy do you think it is to get your hands on young righthanded power? Closers are still nothing more than failed starters - righthanded sluggers, OTOH, are held onto like grim death.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:07 PM   #754
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Great. Now Rany is stealing from me. These people have no shame

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showp...&postcount=647
Dude stole from me as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru View Post



Myers MiL career: .299/ .389/ .521
Soler MiL career: .295/ .379/ .519

Myers ML career: .257/ .331/ .429
Soler ML career: .258/ .328/ .434

http://chiefsplanet.com/BB/showpost....&postcount=357

Quote:
And before you say no - do me a favor and take a look at Wil Myers numbers. There would be something strangely satisfying about trading Myers for Shields and Davis, then dealing Davis for a guy that has a very VERY similar hitting profile to Wil Myers. About the only thing that separated those two offensively last year was PAs and some BABIP luck.
Mostly jazayerli seems to be a day behind this thread at this point...
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:09 PM   #755
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Most of the board wanted to keep Ben- Dayton let him walk and he was a key part in winning the WS for the Cubs.
Keep peddling this bullshit. "Dayton let him walk." Yeah, all the way to his old manager and to be closer to his home, taking less money than what other teams offered.

First you think Bubba Starling can hit .238 in the majors in 2017, now you're recycling this Zobrist crap.

Quote:
The Royals had interest in re-signing Zobrist. He had interest in staying with the team.

Zobrist, however, said he couldn't resist the lure of the Cubs -- a team that hasn't won a World Series since 1908, having come up short in its past seven World Series appearances, the most recent of which was in 1945.

"The Royals were at the top of my list," Zobrist said. "I knew the atmosphere there. I fit in well. It was a great clubhouse, great guys."

But …

"This place," Zobrist said in reference to the Cubs, "is the only place that appealed to me more. If we hadn't won [last October], it would have been more of an [issue]. With the Cubs, I have an opportunity to try to win another one."
http://m.mlb.com/news/article/165729...ice-with-cubs/


If you think Soler won't pan out, fine. It's certainly an arguable point. But argue it. Don't cloak it in BS.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:10 PM   #756
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Maybe he will start stealing from half can and say we should've resigned Ben.....


In GMDM we trust (excluding the Soria signing).
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:11 PM   #757
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Dude stole from me as well:




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Mostly jazayerli seems to be a day behind this thread at this point...


I remember you posted that.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:11 PM   #758
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
Considering Bubba Starling hit .183 with 7 HR at AA and AAA last year, no, no he couldn't.

Your hang up on batting average is silly. It's also worth noting Soler is a .260 career hitter through 700 MLB at bats. So focusing in on his 2016 BA, in a small sample with injuries also affecting him, is even sillier.

If he continues to OBP 70 points higher than his batting average, (and he did make progress here in 2016, OBPing nearly 100 points higher), he can hit .240-.250 and still be a plus offensive player.

If he can hit .260 while maintaining his OBP gains, that's a .350 or better OBP, and that's above-average.

BA is not to be ignored, but it shouldn't be focused on at the expense of OBP and SLG...
You're being diplomatic.

For a guy who's primary offensive function is power - BA can pretty well be ignored. If you really care about what it suggests, just look at K% instead. You could look at Soler's baseball card and learn all you need to learn without ever looking at his batting average - it just doesn't matter.

Like I said, the inverse relationship between fly balls and batting average makes a high BA something that could actually HURT a player like Soler. That's just not his game.

That said, I understand why Royals fans are annoyed by him. The Royals have defied every 'three true outcomes' model there is to defy over the last 3 seasons so some of their fans seemed to have forgotten about some of the developments in that area. But the bottom line is that BA is still a shit way to measure a players offensive contributions.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:12 PM   #759
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[QUOTE=duncan_idaho;12601663]Considering Bubba Starling hit .183 with 7 HR at AA and AAA last year, no, no he couldn't.

Your hang up on batting average is silly. It's also worth noting Soler is a .260 career hitter through 700 MLB at bats. So focusing in on his 2016 BA, in a small sample with injuries also affecting him, is even sillier.

If he continues to OBP 70 points higher than his batting average, (and he did make progress here in 2016, OBPing nearly 100 points higher), he can hit .240-.250 and still be a plus offensive player.

If he can hit .260 while maintaining his OBP gains, that's a .350 or better OBP, and that's above-average.

BA is not to be ignored, but it shouldn't be focused on at the expense of OBP and SLG...

I was kidding about Bubba-he was suppose to be a "top prospect" and so far has not lived up to the hype. That is why I am cautious when talking about "potential" when compared to a guy like Wade - who nailed down the WS for us.

You make a lot of good point-I hope you are right and this kid knocks the shit out of the ball. We need some hitters in the lineup.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:13 PM   #760
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Keep peddling this bullshit. "Dayton let him walk." Yeah, all the way to his old manager and to be closer to his home, taking less money than what other teams offered.
A member of my Cardinals board is Zobrist's wife's brother (more directly - Zobrist married his sister).

My memory is that it happened a year or two ago and the guy is from Illinois so I suspect her family is there as well.

There were a lot of things drawing Zobrist to Chicago. I'm not sure there's anything the Royals could have done to prevent that.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:14 PM   #761
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Game 6 of the 2015 ALCS may be what limited to us to Soler.

Ain't even mad. After reading that Dayton sent Davis to the Cubs without a physical I'm suddenly feeling 110% better about this. How do you even bring that up to the GM you're trading with?

In GMDM I trust.
Jed Hoyer said that the Cubs and their trainers were given the opportunity to get a hands on physical of his arm this morning before finalizing the deal.

I have to assume they were confident enough that he can make through at least 2017 healthy.

It's rather confusing to me to see the Cubs dealing their best chips for rentals when there is an obvious hole next season in the rotation with only 3 pitchers under contract, one being Monty who has very little starting experience.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:21 PM   #762
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Originally Posted by siberian khatru View Post
Keep peddling this bullshit. "Dayton let him walk." Yeah, all the way to his old manager and to be closer to his home, taking less money than what other teams offered.

First you think Bubba Starling can hit .238 in the majors in 2017, now you're recycling this Zobrist crap.



http://m.mlb.com/news/article/165729...ice-with-cubs/


If you think Soler won't pan out, fine. It's certainly an arguable point. But argue it. Don't cloak it in BS.
Obviously the Royals thought Bubba could hit at least that-or they would not have drafted him in the first place. The point was, most prospects don't pan out. Isn't that what Soler is? The Royals traded a known commodity -hoping he can be a descent power hitter they really need.

As far as Ben-it never seemed the Royals really tried all that hard-but I will let it rest. It was a great move on his part and I am happy for him. I am sure Wade is excited to be going for a repeat. The Cubs are loaded.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:22 PM   #763
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:24 PM   #764
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Starling and Elier Hernandez are examples of the Royals not succeeding with young players that are super toolsy but don't have great baseball acumen at the time of signing. It's frustrating to see it happen, if you know how to develop those guys you get stars if you don't you get dudes who never make the majors.
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Old 12-07-2016, 02:29 PM   #765
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfcan View Post
Obviously the Royals thought Bubba could hit at least that-or they would not have drafted him in the first place. The point was, most prospects don't pan out. Isn't that what Soler is? The Royals traded a known commodity -hoping he can be a descent power hitter they really need.
Um, I, uh ... Yeah, when you draft somebody, you always think they'll succeed. But after five years of on-the-field performance, I think it's safe to say that Starling is nowhere near capable of hitting .238 in the majors. He MIGHT hit 12 homers if you give him 600 ABs (while hitting .138 with 300 Ks).

I'd say Soler already has panned out a lot more than Starling has (or probably will). If Soler doesn't get even a tick better, he's still a useful player because he has power (whether he'd be worth Davis is another matter). The deal with Soler is HOW MUCH BETTER he can become. The deal with Starling and other MiL prospects is will he/they ever become anything?
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